Archive for August 5th, 2005

The twins are unconstitutional by Teodoro Petkoff

August 5, 2005

With the elections so close, here is another trick being used by
Chavismo to abuse the law and the electoral system, with the
collaboration of what should be an independent power, the Electoral
Board, as told by Tal Cual’s Editor Teodoro Petkoff.

The “twins” are unconstitutional
by Teodoro Petkoff

After some grandstanding on the part of CNE Director Jorge Rodriguez,
with which he pretended to show how tough he is, alleging that if the “party”
UVE does not present the documentation his pulse would not tremble in not
approving its legality, with which Chavez’ MVR would have lost it twin, the
CNE- did anyone doubt it or believe its president?- consecrated the validity of
that national party. With this the Electoral organization has made itself the
accomplice of this illegal trick which is to validate that mechanism for
cheating called “the twins”. It is the CNE’s job to enforce the constitutional
principle of proportional representation of political parties and other electoral
organizations in elected bodies, according to the votes they obtain. The CNE
has distorted this mandate of the Constitution
when it “legalized” a clone of Chavez’ MVR, which will allow it to thwart
that principle, when it allows that it splits into two and to those elected by
list add those elected directly from UVE, as if this was a different party. This
mockery, the unconstitutionality of which is evident, MVR and its twin will be
able to obtain up to double the number of councilmen that would correspond to
them according to the proportion of their votes. Chavismo will be overrepresented
and its adversaries underrepresented.

Sumate: No transparency in Venezuelan Electoral Registry

August 5, 2005

Yesterday, Sumate introduced
in the Electoral Board (CNE) a request that the Electoral Registry be
published as established in the Law of Suffrage and Political
Participation. This is one of those subtle points that need to be
explained in detail, because it is part of the bag of tricks used by
the Government to cheat and manipulate elections.

The law says the Registry has to be made public, In fact, the law says
the Electoral Board will give a copy to all political parties “whenever
they request it” (Article 95), as well as saying that every month it will have to notify and post publicly any additions or removals to the Registry. (Article 106). Last year, before the
recall vote, Sumate also tried to get the registry published, to no avail. You see
the registry not only contains the name and ID number of each voter,
but also his/her address. Last year and this year, using personnel
outside of the Office of Identification, the Government gave out ID
cards and registered to vote over a million new voters. This supposedly
“democratic” registration drive took place only after the opposition
managed to get the required signatures to vote on a possible recall of
Hugo Chavez as President.

Incredibly enough, in some municipalities there are now more voters than inhabitants a subject that I have discussed
before in this blog more than one time. These type of anomalies and
many more have led Sumate to make a number of request to the CNE and
even to ask the Supreme Court for an injunction, which was rejected. If
you have the patience you can read the decision here.
Well, the Court used the old trick of using a critique of formal steps
in order to not decide on the substance of the case. What is clear is
that the law says the registry has to be published. It hasn’t. Why?

The reason is obvious. Now more than ever those people registered last
year are needed in the upcoming election. Last year Chavez needed sheer
numbers, now his party needs the votes where it matters. We will be
electing this Sunday, members for the City Councils of all of
Venezuela. Chavistas need the votes where they don’t have the Mayors to
make the life of opposition Mayors really difficult. And they need to
win handily where they have the Mayors to do as they please with
municipal Treasuries.

Sumate, once again, is trying to use the law, asking the CNE directly
to provide the Registry. This is called an administrative recourse. The
CNE will obviously not hand it over, it would reveal what a farse
elections are now in Venezuela. Thus, much like last year the CNE did
not do the audit that had been agreed on the night of the recall vote,
and refused to open all of the ballot boxes to count the votes
manually, it will refuse to hand over the registry.

That is why Venezuela is no longer a real democracy. In a real
democracy you need to have transparency. In a real democracy you have to
follow the laws. There is no transparency in Venezuela with regards to
the Electoral Board and its actions. The law was and is being violated
on electoral matters. A few simple actions by the CNE would have
revealed last year and this year whether there was something funny
going on with the votes. The CNE refused, with the support of the
Electoral Hall of the Supreme Court, to follow these simple steps. Even
the most naive individual could not help but ask: Why? What do they
have to hide?